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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Review: Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

Title: Rampant
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pub. Date: 2009
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Warrior Maidens/Virgins, Unicorns, Love, Family, Supernatural
Pages: 402
Plot (from book jacket):
"Forget everything you thought you knew about unicorns...
Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns.
Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.
Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend - thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom - Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.
However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to - perhaps most dangerously of all - her growing attraction to a handsome art student... an attraction that could jeopardize everything."

When I was little, every night I'd go outside with my dad and little sister to wish on a star. Every night my sister wished for a horse. Every night I wished for... a unicorn. Back then, I couldn't think of anything I wanted or needed more than a unicorn. Granted, I'd never met Diana Peterfreund's unicorns. If I had though, I'm almost positive I would've just wished for a horse.

Rampant was an amazing story, complete with bloodthirsty unicorns, a kickass heroine, and a touch of romance. I was completely enthralled with the plot of this novel: maiden warriors who hunt carnivorous unicorns. Honestly, who wouldn't be at least a little curious?

I found the pace of the story a bit slow at times, but, overall, I was kept interested throughout the story. Even if action was lacking, the history and romantic plot line kept me coming back for more! I have never heard of unicorns being portrayed as anything other than gentle, magical creatures, but Peterfreund made it easy to believe that just maybe, we had the story all wrong. The background story was also well written and meshed perfectly with Astrid's story.

I liked most of the characters in Rampant. I thought Astrid and the other hunters were well rounded and each had a distinct personality. I really liked Giovanni as a love interest - I was surprised to find that Astrid falls for an American guy, not an European guy - even if he did have a very Italian name! I thought that was a cute twist!

I did, however, have a major problem with Astrid's mother. She was absolutely horrible. I don't mean horribly written necessarily, she was just a horrible mother. I found that really frustrating. I felt that not only did she try to live her dreams through Astrid, she also didn't really seem to have much common sense. Then, she changes completely later in the book, seemingly due to traumatic events, though they were not only caused by her, but also acknowleged and accepted. Gah! She annoyed me to no end!

Ratings (Out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 8
Writing: 10
Romance: 10
Originality: 10
Total: 48/50 (A)

Other than my intense dislike of Astrid's mother, I really enjoyed Rampant. It was a completely new take on unicorns and I flew through the 400 pages! I look forward to Diana Peterfreund's next novel, which I certainly hope with have another fantasy/supernatural element!

Mini Giveaway CLOSED:

I will be giving away five (5) signed Rampant bookmarks! For a chance to win, leave a comment below! It would be nice if the comment had something to do with Rampant, unicorns, or my review! :)

+2 for linking (tweet, sidebar, blog, etc) (up to +4)
+1 for following (new or old)

Open internationally.
Ends: October 30th! I will announce the 5 winners on the 1st of November!


  1. I'm really excited about reading this book with such a different vision that we are used to read about unicorns. Thanks for the contest!

    Retweeting at @natashamheck


  2. Huh, that's weird, I thought I WAS following you. Must be in my reader but not following. :)

    I like bookmarks! janicu[at]gmail[dot]com

  3. This is the first review I've read on this, and you have definitely pushed me to add this to my WL. I didn't know what this was about, but it sounds amazing!

    Awesome review. :] Got a bit confused at first since there's an Astrid in the story I'm reading now and I had a blank moment there, haha.

    & I'd love to win a bookmark!
    +1 Follower.
    +2 Tweeted. (
    (PS- I apologize for the SUPER long comment =x)

  4. Hm, I'm kind of bummed to hear about Astrid's mother—I think that story arch is way overdone in YA, but then I guess it works as a story-mover-alonger... I suppose.

    Still want to read this, though. I think the idea is fascinating. :)

    I"m Retweeting this @CinderLisa @tiemeinbows and @hollowtreetales (I know that's three places, not two, but I don't think you'll mind, even if it doesn't count!)

  5. Oh, and I am now following you, as well. :)

  6. I am really excited about reading this one! Your review was great!

    +2 for tweeting @jmoose09
    +2 for adding it to my sidebar
    +1 for following (new)

  7. Awh cute little mini contest! :)
    Could you enter my name? Thanks.

    +1 I already follow.


  8. The image of sparkly unicorns on a trapper keeper or the last unicorn movie lives on in my brain so I'm a little frightened of reading this. It has gotten incredible review though.

    +1 follower
    Elie (Ellz Readz)

  9. I keep reading mixed reviews about this one. I'll just have to give it a try then ;)

    +1 follower


  10. I have read Rampant and so has my 13 year old daughter. LOVE IT! My husband kept commenting that every time he looked at me I had picked it up to read "just a few more pages".

    I TOTALLY agree with your excellent review. My daughter's comment was, "I really liked it. The main character actually had common sense instead of being stupid over some guy!"

    It was compelling, new...I mean vampires are everywhere right now and I am a paranormal nut, so this was a refreshing change! Both of us cannot wait for the sequel also. =)


  11. Okay...
    I followed you +1
    I tweeted this +1

    Thank you again for the review and the contest!


    gourmetmama on Twitter =)

  12. Wow almost 50! Her bloodthristy unicorns are very original.. I haven't read this book yet but I can't wait to do it!
    BTW The cover ir really pretty..

    +1 follower
    +2 tweeted

  13. Ugh, I've been wanting to read this book for a looong time, but my stupid library doesn't have a copy yet! :(

    +2 for Tweeting (
    +1 being a old follower

    Robyn :)

  14. I've heard such great things about this book. And of course, your review just adds to that. Must read.
    +1 follower


  15. Whenever I think of unicorns, I think of those 80's velvet paintings of them. I've never been a huge unicorn fan; I don't really know why but somehow I think this book may be the reason...

    +1 old follower

    melacan at hotmaild to com

  16. I haven't read a book about unicorns yet so when I read Rampant it will be my first. I am very excited.

    +2 Retweeted @cait045

  17. I just bought Rampant and can't wait to read it!
    +1 already follow

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  18. +1 I'm a follower.

    I got Rampant the other day and have read the first two chapters. It's really interesting so far.

  19. I can't wait to read this. I just managed to get my own copy so I will have to move it to the top of my TBR pile. Great review and giveaway!

    +1 follower

  20. 100% for originality - killer unicorns, definitely haven't seen that anywhere else before! This sounds great, I love the idea and kickass heroines are my favourite =) The most I associate with unicorns is that they "ride on silver moonbeams and shoot rainbows out of their asses" - yeah, I went to the Dean Winchester school of unicorn lore :P

    I think I'm too late for the giveaway (not sure because of the time zone difference), so don't add this comment in with the others! And I hope you get your unicorn one day... a kind, gentle one, that is :)

  21. Okie dokie - date fixed, so here is my entry LOL :)

    +1 Following
    +1 Tweeted -


  22. This is a great review. Made me really want to pick up the book.

    I'm not going to enter the contest though, so please don't enter me...I've already won a signed bookmark of Rampant, and I love it!

    Good luck to all who enter!

  23. I managed to forget my email the other day. It is lisa.asanuma @ gmail dot com. :)

  24. I'm glad you like the book. I recently got a copy and will be reading it soon so hope I can win a bookmark to go with my book.

    +1 Old follower


  25. I just read Rampant as well. I struggled a bit with the grisly hunt scenes, but I liked it a lot. Your review is great! I agree with your comments about Lilith. Thanks.

  26. Wow! This sounds like a really creative take on a familiar mythical creature. :) Great review!

    I love bookmarks, so put my name in the hat!

  27. Thanks for the review! Now I know that I should read this one, because I've been a little unsure, but if you scored it that high I'll definitely check it out.

    ooh, bookmarks! I can always use a bookmark, lol.
    +1 follow

  28. This is one of my new favorite stories, so please enter me!

    Loved your review! Really liked all of the girls, but have to agree that Astrid's mother was unbelievable. That stunt she pulled on Astrid was just outright mean! Didn't like Phil's boyfriend either, but Giovanni seemed okay. Great job!

  29. Great review! I agree with you on almost all of your points. Especially about Astrid's mom. SO annoying and strange. The 180 personality change was a little abrupt... But killer unicorns are fun to read about. :)

    +1 following

    - Alex at

  30. Hi! I really want to win!I love bookmarks! so please count me in!

    +1 follower

    thanks for the contest!

  31. I would LOVE to win this!!
    Thankyou!! :D:D:D

    I JUST got this book from the library! I can't wait to read it!! :D:D

    +1 for following



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